Alternative Name(s): American Jacks

Set of six metal jacks with a small rubber ball, made in Taiwan. This is a typical form of jacks in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Jacks is an ancient game, dating back to prehistoric times. The first jacks were natural materials - animal bones, stones, seeds and shells, and when the game became a popular part of children's culture, manufacturers began mass-producing them from plastic and metal. In Australia, jacks are mostly shaped like sheep's knucklebones, but overseas there are also ceramic cubes and 'star'-shaped metal pieces. These stones are an example of the natural materials used by children to play jacks in the United States in the early 20th century.

Part of the Australian Children's Folklore Collection (ACFC). The ACFC is unique in Australia, documenting contemporary children's folklore across Australia and in other countries reaching back to the 1870s. The Collection has a strong component of research material relating to Victoria.

Physical Description

Six metal jacks with a small rubber ball. The ball is light blue with a groove on the surface, making it look like a baseball. Each jack has six spikes, four of which have rounded ends like little balls. All jacks are of identical size, and are plain, uncoloured metal. The ball has a small amount of a white substance on the surface.

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